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South East England is one of the nine official regions of England, designated in 1994 and adopted for statistical purposes in 1999. Its boundaries include Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussexmarker, Hampshire, Isle of Wightmarker, Kentmarker, Oxfordshire, Surreymarker and West Sussexmarker. In common usage, however, the area referred to as the 'south east' can vary considerably.

As with the other regions of England, apart from Greater Londonmarker, the South East has no elected government and few central powers, the creation of elected regional governments proposed by the Labour Party after its election in 1997 having been aborted. The headquarters for the region's governmental bodies, such as they are, are in Guildfordmarker. The largest city in the region (by population) is Brighton and Hovemarker, but the dominant influence on the region's economy is neighbouring Londonmarker. The highest point is Walbury Hillmarker in Berkshire at . The Highest Point in the South- East's Biggest county, Kent, is Ide Hill at 260m/ 850 ft.

Historical boundaries

Until 1999, there was a South East Standard Statistical Region which also included the counties of Essex, Hertfordshiremarker, Bedfordshire and Greater Londonmarker. The former South East Civil Defence Region covered the same area as the current government office region.

Alternative definitions

In unofficial usage, the South East can refer to a varying area - sometimes only to Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, and Surrey, but more usually to the former Standard Statistical Region, which corresponded approximately to the London commuter belt.

Demographics

The population of the region as of the 2001 census was 8,000,550, making it the most populous English region. The major conurbations of the region include Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton (population in 2001 461,000), Portsmouthmarker (442,000), Readingmarker (370,000) and Southamptonmarker (304,000). Settlements closer to London are part of the conurbation known as the Greater London Urban Areamarker.

The South East has the highest percentage of people born outside of the UKmarker other than Londonmarker. 2005 Estimates state 88.5% of people as White British, 4.5% Other White (inc. 1.0% Irish), 3.1% South Asian, 1.4% Mixed Race, 1.3% Black British, 0.6% Chinese, 0.6% Other.

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Ceremonial county County/ unitary Districts
Berkshire West Berkshire U.A.
Readingmarker U.A.
Wokingham U.A.
Bracknell Forestmarker U.A.
Windsor and Maidenheadmarker U.A.
Sloughmarker U.A.
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire a.) South Bucksmarker, b.) Chilternmarker, c.) Wycombemarker, d.) Aylesbury Valemarker
Milton Keynesmarker U.A.
East Sussexmarker East Sussex a.) Hastingsmarker, b.) Rother, c.) Wealdenmarker, d.) Eastbournemarker, e.) Lewesmarker,f.) Battlemarker
Brighton & Hovemarker U.A.
Hampshire Hampshire a.Farehammarker, b.) Gosportmarker c.) Winchestermarker, d.) Havantmarker, e.) East Hampshiremarker, f.) Hartmarker, g.) Rushmoor, h.) Basingstoke and Deanemarker, i.) Test Valley, j.) Eastleighmarker, k.) New Forestmarker
Southamptonmarker U.A.
Portsmouthmarker U.A.
Isle of Wightmarker
Kentmarker Kent a.) Dartford, b.) Graveshammarker, c.) Sevenoaksmarker, d.) Tonbridge and Mallingmarker, e.) Tunbridge Wellsmarker, f.) Maidstonemarker, g.) Swale, h.) Ashfordmarker, i.) Shepway, j.) Canterburymarker, k.) Dovermarker, l.) Thanetmarker
Medway U.A.
Oxfordshire a.) Oxfordmarker, b.) Cherwellmarker, c.) South Oxfordshiremarker, d.) Vale of White Horsemarker, e.) West Oxfordshiremarker
Surreymarker a.) Spelthorne, b.) Runnymedemarker, c.) Surrey Heathmarker, d.) Woking, e.) Elmbridgemarker, f.) Guildfordmarker, g.) Waverley, h.) Mole Valley, i.) Epsom and Ewellmarker, j.) Reigate and Bansteadmarker, k.) Tandridgemarker
West Sussexmarker a.) Worthingmarker, b.) Arunmarker, c.) Chichestermarker, d.) Horsham, e.) Crawleymarker, f.) Mid Sussexmarker, g.) Adur


See: List of districts in south east England by population

Politics of the area

The South East of England is the most Conservative voting region of the UK in terms of both seats and votes. The area also has some strong supporting seats for other parties such as Sloughmarker for Labour and Lewesmarker for the Liberal Democrats. However, the safest Conservative seat in the country, Buckinghammarker, has a majority of over 38%.

The South East England Regional Assembly is based on the A3100 road in Guildford near the London Road railway stationmarker.

Transport



The main road transport routes are along the M1 through Buckinghamshire; the M40 through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; the M4 through Berkshire and Buckinghamshire; the M2 motorway/A2 and M20 through Kent; the M23 through West Sussex; the M3 through Hampshire and the A34 through Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The east-west corridor through the south of the region is provided by the A27 and the M27. The main intercontinental airport is Gatwick Airport, with regional airports at Kent International Airportmarker (Ramsgatemarker), Shoreham Airportmarker and Southampton Airportmarker. Heathrow Airportmarker is in Greater Londonmarker but also serves (and is serviced by) the South East region. The Great Western Main Line passes through Berkshire and southern Buckinghamshire. The South Eastern Main Line and High Speed 1 pass through Kent. The Brighton Main Line passes through Surrey and West Sussex. The West Coast Main Linemarker passes through northern Buckinghamshire. The Chiltern Main Line is a major commuter line between Birmingham and London passing through central Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The Port of Dovermarker and the port at Folkestonemarker have many ferry services to Francemarker and Belgiummarker.

Transport policy

As part of the transport planning system the Regional Assembly is under statutory requirement to produce a Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involves region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by the Highways Agency and Network Rail.

Within the region the local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a Local Transport Plan which outlines their strategies, policies and implementation programme. The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006-11. In the South East region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online:Bracknell Forestmarker U.A., Brighton & Hovemarker U.A., Buckinghamshire, East Sussexmarker, Hampshire, Isle of Wightmarker, Kentmarker, Medway U.A., Milton Keynesmarker U.A., Oxfordshire, Portsmouthmarker U.A., Readingmarker U.A., Sloughmarker U.A., Southamptonmarker U.A., Surreymarker, Windsor and Maidenheadmarker U.A., Wokingham U.A. and West Sussexmarker.

Economy

The South East of England is a very prosperous area with the second largest regional economy in the UK (after London), valued at £177 billion in 2006. GDP per capita in 2007 was estimated at £22,624, compared with a UK average of £19,956, making South East England the second richest region per capita, behind London.

Many high technology companies are located near the M3 in Surrey and the M4 in Berkshire. Sun Microsystems have their UK base in Blackwatermarker near Camberleymarker. Microsoft and Oracle have their UK headquarters next door to each other in Reading, as do the Yell Group. Symantec UK is in nearby Whitleymarker. The Gatwick Diamond is also a hub for hi-tech industry, centred at Gatwick Airport with Epsommarker to the north and Burgess Hillmarker to the south.

Berkshire

Companies in Berkshire essentially follow the M4 corridormarker. PepsiCo have their UK base in Theale as have Nvidia UKmarker and Wolseley, the builders' and plumbers' merchants who own Bathstore and Plumb Center. Vodafone, High and Mighty and Bayer UK are based in Newburymarker. Pentax UK and Groupe SEB UK (owner of Krups, Moulinex, Rowenta, and Tefal) are in Langleymarker near Slough. Mars Limited has a large chocolate factory also in Slough on the enormous Slough Trading Estatemarker, as is ICI Paints, who own Cuprinol, Polyfilla, and Dulux. Horlicks is made by GSK there. Honda UK, Citroën UK, Fiat UKmarker, Black & Decker Europe, McAfee UK, LG Group UK, Amazon UK, Ingres UK, Telefónica O2 Europe UK and Reckitt Benckiser are also in Slough. Centrica, Hovis, Morgan Crucible, and InterContinental Hotels Group are in Windsor. Interserve, the construction company, BG Group, Primark UK, and Guide Dogs for the Blind are in Reading. Porsche Cars Great Britain is in nearby Calcotmarker. Borland UK is in Twyfordmarker and the Transport Research Laboratorymarker is in Crowthornemarker. Foster Wheeler UK is in Shinfieldmarker in the old headquarters of Berkshire County Council, next to the M4. Harley-Davidson UK is in Pangbournemarker. HMV Group, Nortel UK, Hitachi UK, Hutchison 3G UK, Weight Watchers UK and Costain are in Maidenhead, and GSK makes Sensodyne, Corsodyl and Macleans there. Cable & Wireless, Dell UK, Panasonic UK, BMW UK, HP UK, Syngenta UK, Honeywell UK, Avis Europe (with Budget UK), Novell UK, 3M UK, and Waitrose are in Bracknellmarker.

Surrey

Allianz Cornhillmarker Insurance have their UK headquarters in Guildford as do Ericsson, Colgate-Palmolive UK, Sanofi-Aventis, Avaya UK, and Philips UK. BOC Gases UK are also in Guildford. The former company, now owned by The Linde Group, was based in Windleshammarker. Motor company McLarenmarker is based in Wokingmarker as is the UK base of Yum Restaurants (owner of KFC) and Capgemini. Canon UK, Esure, Sheila's Wheels and Kimberley Clark Europe are in Reigatemarker.In the area straddling the M25marker, the huge Compass Group is based in Chertseymarker as is Samsung UK, Siemon UK, and the European headquarters of Electronic Arts; Thales Group UK is in Addlestonemarker; and in Weybridgemarker are the UK headquarters of Sony and Procter & Gamble, next door to each other near the Brooklandsmarker racing circuit, the local newspaper group Newsquest, the Central Veterinary Laboratory which is run by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, and Toshiba have their UK Information Systems headquarters there, as well as another base in Camberley. Mouchel is in West Byfleetmarker. Air Products UK is in Walton-on-Thamesmarker. Atkins, the civil engineering company, and Toyota UK (towards Bansteadmarker) are in Epsommarker. Dairy Crest is in Eshermarker. Ann Summers is in Whyteleafemarker near Caterhammarker. Swift Cover is in Cobhammarker. Pfizer UK is in Walton-on-the-Hillmarker. Friends Provident is in Dorkingmarker. Edmund Nuttall, City Link Ltd., Adaptec UK and Krispy Kreme UK are in Camberleymarker and S.C. Johnson UK is in Frimley Greenmarker. Siemens UK, Novartis UK, and AMD UKmarker are in Frimleymarker. ExxonMobil UK (Esso) is in Leatherheadmarker. Although BP has its international headquarters in central London, most of its UK division (chemicals and energy) is headquartered at Sunbury-on-Thamesmarker, just inside the Surrey boundary. Enterprise Rent-a-Car UK is near Thorpemarker, near to Cemex UKmarker and Thorpe Parkmarker (situated on a series of former gravel pits).

Buckinghamshire

George Wimpey, RAF Air Command, Hyundai UK, Dreams, the UK base of Ariston (now owned by Indesit), Wilkinson Sword, the food technology centre of Premier Foods and Rank Hovis's HQ, and Staples are based in High Wycombemarker. Johnson & Johnson UKmarker have their base at Bookermarker next to the M40 near Handy Crossmarker. Kawasaki UK is in Bourne Endmarker. The UK base of Robert Bosch is in Denhammarker. Martin-Baker is in Higher Denhammarker. Pioneer UK is in Stoke Pogesmarker and Cummins have a design plant in Ivermarker, with Pinewood Studiosmarker in Iver Heath. Servier Laboratories UK is in Wexhammarker. The Barracuda Group (owner of Varsity), Lexmark UK and Trend Micro UK are in Marlowmarker. GE Healthcare has its world HQ in Little Chalfontmarker. Uniq plc is in Gerrards Crossmarker. Leica Geosystemsmarker is based in Milton Keynes, as is Argos, BP Oil UK (retail), Abbey, WD-40 UK, Domino's Pizza UK, VW Group UK (VW and Audi), Luminar Leisure and Homebase. Welcome Break is in Newport Pagnellmarker, and Mercedes-Benz UK is in Tongwellmarker.

Hampshire

The Army have a large garrison in Aldershotmarker, with Sandhurstmarker being nearby. B&Q and Draper Tools are based in Chandler's Fordmarker. Farnboroughmarker has many international aerospace companies including BAE Systemsmarker and QinetiQmarker, as well as Nokia UK, Autodesk UK, and Thomson Local directory. The Ordnance Surveymarker and a factory of Ford are based in Southampton, and Skandia Insurance have their UK base there. Garmin Europe is in Hounsdownmarker just west of Southampton. Much of the Royal Navy is based in Portsmouthmarker. IBM is headquartered in Coshammarker, with large laboratories in Hursley Housemarker. Kenwood Limited is in Havantmarker. Virgin Media and Serco Group are based in Hookmarker. The AA is based in Basingstoke as are Shire plc the pharmaceuticals group, Eli Lilly UK, the Gas Safe Register (as was predecessor CORGI), and GAME. Motorola UK is in Chinehammarker. Ineos is in Lyndhurstmarker. Twinings (who also own Ovaltine) is in Andovermarker. Arqiva are based in Crawley, Hampshiremarker, four miles north-west of Winchestermarker.

Sussex

The RSPCA is in Horshammarker and Cats Protection is in Haywards Heathmarker. Roche Diagnostics' UK Headquarters and CAE Inc. UK are in Burgess Hillmarker. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars make vehicles at Westhampnettmarker. Virgin Atlantic is in Crawleymarker as is Unilever Bestfoods, Spirent, G4S, Pilz UK and TUI Travel PLC. Sofa Workshop is in Petworthmarker. The Body Shop is in Littlehamptonmarker. Palmer and Harvey is in Hovemarker.

Kent

Geographer's A-Z Map Company is based in Borough Greenmarker. Bovis Homes is near Gravesendmarker. Fairy is made by Procter & Gamble in Dartfordmarker, and Mazda UK is based there. Brake Bros Ltd is in Ashfordmarker. Cummins Power Generation is in Ramsgatemarker, and Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, has its European R&D site there. Hornby Railways is in Margatemarker.

Oxfordshire

Oxford University Press, Electrocomponents and Amey plc are in Oxfordmarker. Motoring company Prodrive is based in Banburymarker along with Ascari. The UK base of Mielemarker and Sophos are in Abingdon. BMW assemble the much-lauded MINI at Cowleymarker, also the base of Unipart. Renault F1marker is in Enstonemarker. Travelodge UK is in Thamemarker. RM plc and Kaspersky Lab UK are at Milton Parkmarker.

Education

Buckinghamshire, Medway and Kent, and Slough have an almost completely selective education system - not just a few grammar schools as other English areas may have. Kent has 33 grammar schools, Buckinghamshire 13, Medway 6 and Slough 4. The other areas are comprehensive. In the top thirty schools at A level, all but three are selective schools; two of the others are sixth form colleges and one is a comprehensive (in Oxford). However, the results for each county as a whole are not always directly related to the number of grammar school, as Kent and Medway perform under average.

At GCSE, the area in the South East (and England) with the highest results is Buckinghamshire. Berkshire is split into unitary authorities, and Wokingham and Slough have the next best GCSE results. All of Berkshire's unitary authorities have results above the England average, with Windsor and West Berkshire considerably above average. Schools in Surrey and Hampshire also have good GCSE results, and they are above average in Oxfordshire, West Sussex, Medway and Kent. There are a small number of districts where results are significantly below average including the unitary authorities of Portsmouth (one of the lowest LEA in the country), Southampton and Milton Keynes, and the districts of Oxford in Oxfordshire, Adur in West Sussex and Hastings in East Sussex.

Local media

As elsewhere in England, the media landscape in South East England is dominated by national television, radio, newspapers and magazines, most of which are based in London. Local media include:

See also



External links



References

  1. List of conurbations in the United Kingdom
  2. statistics.gov.uk
  3. Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform: Impact of RDA spending, March 2009
  4. Office for National Statistics: Regional, sub-regional and local gross value added, December 2008



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